MATCH VERDICT – Many reasons to be cheerful

Manchester United 2 Irons 1

Match verdict

by Hugh Southon

Sakho celebrates

To come away from Old Trafford feeling sick that we didn’t win tells me one thing: This squad has come one hell of a long way and we should all feel very content with the way things are heading.

Our man of the season Cheikhou Kouyate was missing and the late withdrawal of Mark Noble could  have proved seriously harmful.

Instead it gave us the opportunity to take a look at Morgan Amalfitano and Diego Poyet and both looked more than comfortable in what is always seen as one of the toughest tests of the season. These are big reasons to be very cheerful.

That United cruised into a two goal lead was down to the fact that captain for the day Alex Song made a colossal ricket for the first goal – but for that we would have come away with a point we always richly deserved.

What I believe we saw this afternoon was that Sam Allardyce and David Sullivan ( because trust me that’s what it amounts to ) have assembled a squad which Noble describes as the best he’s been involved in over his 10 years at the club.

We looked very strong throughout but what’s changed is that there is now a touch of class about the Hammers with a squad of players having been assembled who can play in several different ways.

I really like the look of Amalfitano and I believe Enner Valencia will be one of those who brings moments of delirium and desperation but I’d sooner have him in my team than in the opposition’s.

The player who excites though – a guy who I believe will still be going at the end of the season as he has started – is Diafra Sakho.

He’s always involved, always sniffing out chances, playing simple lay offs to get things set- up and SCORING GOALS.

At one stage – when a far post volley was saved by David De Gea at close range – Diafra’s first reaction was to wind-up the Irons fans. Love it.

But what’s better than anything is that we really do have our West Ham back although the sight of Carlton Cole and Kevin Nolan arriving on the pitch wasn’t the best.

West Ham 2014/15 are light years in front of what we have been looking at over the last two or three seasons and this is no time to call the manager or anyone else. Let’s just see how well this develops because it truly is looking very good.

One final thought on the game: Wayne Rooney’s sending off was 100 per cent deserved. He scythed Stewart Downing down with a knee high kick.

And unbelievably the United fans cheered and clapped him off. If that’s what they have come to, Manchester United is really is in trouble!



About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

4 comments on “MATCH VERDICT – Many reasons to be cheerful

  1. Imagine how good we could be if GOLD hired a real manager? One who can actually manage the 18 on duty and beat ten men over a third of the game. A loss is a loss and zero points.

  2. Many managers (too many to mention) have given West Ham United a wide berth whenever the position became vacant. Mostly they didn’t have the cojones to take the job on using pure ability instead of a big transfer kitty to take the club forward. These managers are commonly known as chequebook managers. Credit goes to Big Sam for despite the lack of funds and a relegated team, took the job on because of his belief in his ability to gain promotion at the first attempt and because he also believed in the Chairmen’s dream the West Ham United was a sleeping giant that could be turned around with the OS on the horizon.
    Although our second season wasn’t the best and the quality of football wasn’t what we would all have liked, the job remit was achieved within a limited budget and for that we should all be grateful. Last seasons end of season meeting between the chairmen and manager may seem one sided to many, but I believe that the chairmen if they were honest had to also have a look at themselves when Big Sam asked them for the funds to do the job that everyone associated with the club wanted. The result is what we have now at the club.

    Well-done Hugh, for recognising this fact with early praise. I take my hat off to you. We should all have the humility to hold our hands up when we think we were wrong. The manager has got many options and a proper squad for the first time and we as supporters have a team to be proud of and believe in, knowing that we won’t simply scrape to survival but the beginning of new memories and in the knowledge that this club is on the rise. Don’t get me wrong, these are still beginnings and teams take time to form, but so far things are looking good.

    Some of our supporters(?) still seem to be on another planet and seeing doesn’t seem to go hand in hand with believing….Oh well 🙂

  3. Hugh and owl comment, could not agree more. One day some will wake up and see what a steady job Sam has done. Last seasons squad still had to rely on freebies (Taylor, cole, O’brieN, Carlton etc). If Carroll had been fit all season last year would have been a lot better, yes it was a wrong gamble, but he got, us over the line ugly. And this year when Carroll comes back, don’t tell me having a complete tested plan B is not gonna swing some games round for us. People that slag Andy for being injured are also idiots, RVP Gerard etc all got through these periods, and he gets injured giving 110%, thats where he needs a possible change…….anyway back to thread.

    I think the board need huge praise post Grant for getting us here, and pulling Sam into line a little, that’s how the relationship should work.

    Now he has some players and options, we can judge him on ability to take us to the OS this season. But for those who think the last three he has failed check out Wolves, Fulham, Bolton, Wigan and the other relegated teams from the last five years that has less debt than us. He has done a job, taken the club forward, and he needs to accelerate the entertainment now. That said, the occasional 1 zip in a tough game is what gets you top half……….. I hope he can switch back to churn out a couple when needed.

    Get behind him, the team and the most exciting looking future I’ve known since 85/86 ans the 90′s golden generation and look how we f’d that up. Short rose colored memories some people on these forums.

    Sorry put this on two threads, meant it for this one. COYI

    • Well said hkgossy!

      It’s good to know that we have supporters who have more than surface understanding & knowledge of West Ham United and realise that in these last few seasons we are fortunate to be where we are with all factors taken into consideration. Right buyers (Chairmen) with vision and the right manager of vast experience (Big Sam) who as well as gambling his reputation on a relegated side, cobbled a side together to gain promotion at the first attempt (effectively saving the club from further debt) during the WORST financial period in this clubs entire history.

      Now that we’re heading in the right direction, I want this club’s supporters to get behind our team & support them with pride. No more in fighting, making ourselves look like disorganised bitter moaners, who like to think that we’re better than we actually are.

      Moving to the OS we need to get the feel good factor and togetherness again because we need to MAKE the OS “Our” new stadium & intimidate ALL who come there to take us on. We need to be the 12th man for our club from this point forward.

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